Rod Eldridge spent 27 years caring for casualties in the military - going in as a private and retiring as a mental health specialist with the rank of lieutenant colonel.
When he rejoined civilian life, his first job was still in caring, working as a regional manager for the Royal British Legion.
Now he is with the North Norfolk-based Walking With The Wounded and looking forward to the “fun” of running the 26.2 miles of the London Marathon.
“They say it is a superb race,” he said, “running through the capital with the tremendous support of the crowds.”
He aims to raise at least £2,500 for the benefit of the veterans’ charity.
He began his preparations for the race with the advantage having done “ridiculously arduous things” in the military, including the Nijmegen Marches in which thousands of participants walk 30-50 kilometres a day for four days.
“I keep myself reasonably fit but I don’t over-train because of hip and knee pain. I am running about three times a week for 10-12 miles.”
The 52-year-old lives in Attleborough with his wife Sally, who is also an ex-Army nurse.
Their daughter is at university in Holland and thinking about joining the Army and their son, who has just finished A levels, is considering the police force as a career.
Mr Eldridge was 18 when he left Wales to join the Army.
He retired after eight operational tours, lastly in Iraq and Afghanistan, as a lieutenant colonel nurse consultant in the Armed Forces and wider Defence Medical Services.
After he left the services he was able to fit in some time as a volunteer at Banham Zoo.
“I loved working with the animals and it was almost therapeutic - I would recommend it to anyone.”
His role at Walking With The Wounded includes launching a veterans’ mental health pathway scheme.
“I have a wonderful opportunity to help shape future provision for veterans in Norfolk and Suffolk and I am working with some great people,” he said.
To support Mr Eldridge visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/RodEldridge